Alexander Luthor, Jr

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Alexander Luthor, Jr. is a DC Comics character who turned from a hero to a villain. Created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, Alexander has a prominent role in the DC Universe storylines Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis.

Contents

Character biography

Crisis on Infinite Earths

See Crisis on Infinite Earths

Alexander Luthor, Jr. is born on Earth-Three, the son of that world's Lex Luthor, who is known as "Alexander Luthor", and Lois Lane-Luthor. The senior Alexander Luthor is Earth-Three's only hero, fighting the Crime Syndicate, an evil version of the Justice League of America. In the 1985 DC Comics 12-issue limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, a being known as the Anti-Monitor destroys innumerable universes, including Earth-Three, with an anti-matter wave. To save their son, the Luthors place him in an experimental device that carries the infant to the relative safety of Earth-One.

The survivors of the Crisis are about to enter into the paradise dimension. Promotional art for Adventures of Superman #649 (April 2006) cover, by Ivan Reis.
The survivors of the Crisis are about to enter into the paradise dimension. Promotional art for Adventures of Superman #649 (April 2006) cover, by Ivan Reis.

Alexander materializes on the abandoned satellite that was formerly the headquarters of the Justice League. Harbinger takes him in at the request of the Monitor. His passage through the anti-matter storm grants him power over both matter and anti-matter, although the exposure also dramatically accelerates his aging process. By the conclusion of Crisis, Luthor is a young adult, despite the passage of only a few weeks. After the Monitor's death, Alexander helps lead the heroes and villains of the DC Universe against the Anti-Monitor.

After defeating the Anti-Monitor with the help of Kal-L, the Earth-Two Superman, and the Earth-Prime Superboy, Alexander reveals that he has saved Kal-L's wife, the Earth-Two Lois Lane from being erased from existence when the multiverse was destroyed. The foursome, no longer having a place in the new Post-Crisis universe, retreat to a "paradise dimension" which Alexander accesses using the last of his dimensional powers.

Escape from "Heaven"

Infinite Crisis Secret Files reveals how the four survivors spend the years since the Crisis. The survivors have power over the dimension, and it reacts to their thoughts and emotions. Alexander, who has rapidly aged to his mid-30s and growing frustrated, becomes colder and detached from the well-being of the universe's living beings. Superboy-Prime becomes frustrated as well, and Alexander uses this opportunity to convince him to help fix reality. Playing on his anger, Alexander only shows him the negatives of the new reality to convince him that it is inferior. For example, Superboy-Prime appears to be unaware that Hal Jordan and Parallax are two separate entities.

Reality Ripples

Furiously trying to escape, Superboy-Prime pounds on the barrier wall of the paradise dimension but is unsuccessful. This assault on the universe causes "ripples" that alter reality, explaining in-story the real-life changes and retcons in DC continuity for the past 20 years.

Countdown to Infinite Crisis

Superboy-Prime's efforts frustrate him; he is not as powerful in the post-Crisis heaven because he has no yellow sun to power him. Eventually, Alexander reveals that his own powers are returning, and the two combine forces to break through the barrier wall. Together, they set into motion the events that culminate in Infinite Crisis:

Infinite Crisis

See Infinite Crisis

Countdown

Alexander watches the events happening in the post-Crisis Earth for several years with his companions, and he eventually convinces a pessimistic Kal-L to break the walls of their paradise to intervene in the post-Crisis Earth. Alexander tells Kal-L and his cousin Power Girl that they can help him bring aspects of Earth-Two into predominance over the merged universes (as Earth-One had become predominant Post-Crisis), which will help Earth-Two's Lois Lane recover from her current illness.

"I'm you. Only better."

Alexander Luthor is confronted by Lex Luthor. Panels from Infinite Crisis #3 (February 2006), art by Phil Jimenez.
Alexander Luthor is confronted by Lex Luthor. Panels from Infinite Crisis #3 (February 2006), art by Phil Jimenez.

Lex Luthor does everything in his power to find his impersonator. Taking the identity Mockingbird, he organizes the Secret Six. He spies on all of Alexander's transmissions for months and finally confronts him in the Arctic. When Lex asks who he is, Alexander replies, "I'm you. Only better." Alexander also reveals that his presence on Earth is what has been causing Lex's recent erratic behavior and the interference with his thought processes. Lex is almost killed by Alexander and Superboy Prime, but escapes by teleporting away.

Not only is Alexander masquerading as Lex Luthor, he is also using the Society to construct a massive dimensional "tuning fork", like those in the original Crisis. The structure incorporates heroes and villains from the Earths that had combined to form the post-Crisis Earth, as well as the remains of the Anti-Monitor.

Tower

The Anti-Monitor's corpse is turned into a tower. From a panel from Infinite Crisis #3 (February 2006), art by Phil Jimenez.
The Anti-Monitor's corpse is turned into a tower. From a panel from Infinite Crisis #3 (February 2006), art by Phil Jimenez.

The device requires a vast power source to operate, which Alexander generates by manipulating the Spectre into destroying magic (as seen in Day of Vengeance). The result is a raw form of magic that the device can tap into. Alexander programs the tower by granting sentience to the Brother Eye satellite, allowing the system to evolve into a brain capable of directing the tower's energies.

Using the device, Alexander is able to divide the universe, re-creating the multiverse. Alexander appears to be successful in recreating Earth-Two (or a close facsimile); however, he notes that objective is not his ultimate one, which is to gather elements from every Earth to create one single, perfect Earth. With the parallel Earths restored, Alexander combines various Earths. At the center of the universe, Donna Troy and her team see gigantic representations of Alexander's hands creating a rip in space.

As Alexander attempts to combine Earth-Two and Earth-Three (an act that would have killed Superman and Wonder Woman), Firestorm converts all the energy the heroes are firing at the rip into raw positive matter, which destroys Alexander's right index finger. Immediately after, Nightwing, Wonder Girl and Superboy arrive at the tower and free the captives. Superboy-Prime enters the fray. His fight with Conner destroys the tower, and the multiple Earths collapse into a single "New Earth."

His plan foiled, Alexander decides that if he can not create a perfect Earth, then he will take this Earth by force and shape it as best he can. To that end, the Society gathers in Metropolis to decimate the remaining heroes, with Doomsday as their champion.

Death

After losing the battle, Alexander is held at gunpoint by Batman for severely injuring Nightwing and causing the death of Superboy. However, Wonder Woman stops him, telling Batman that Alex isn't worth it, and Alex flees, proclaiming that this doesn't mean that Wonder Woman is 'better'.

Lex Luthor and the Joker find him hiding in an alley in Gotham City and making new plans. The Joker mutilates Alex's face with his acid-flower and lethal joybuzzer, while Lex taunts his enemy for his various mistakes, including underestimating him and excluding the Joker from the Society (the Joker was the only major villain not offered membership in the Society, due to his highly unpredictable nature). The Joker then shoots Alexander point blank, killing him, while Lex mockingly asks, "Now who's stupid?".

In 52 Week Three, the Gotham City Police Department find a body in an alley that looks like Lex Luthor. John Henry Irons examines the body at STAR Labs and notices that contact lenses were inserted post-mortem to make the blue eyes appear green, like Lex's. Lex Luthor barges in with a throng of reporters, claiming that the body is that of an impostor from another Earth, the man truly responsible for his various crimes.

Though Alexander's body had a missing finger and a different genetic make-up from Lex's, 52 editor Stephen Wacker has confirmed that the body found in Gotham is indeed Alex, and that Luthor had altered it before the police had discovered it. [1]

The Death of The New Gods series (2008) reveals that Alexander was subtly manipulated by The Source into recreating the Multiverse.

Powers and abilities

Alexander's greatest talent is his genius-level intellect, which he uses to manipulate other characters, to outwit his enemies, and to engineer the Multiverse Tower. The circumstances of his escape from the doomed Earth-Three give him power over matter and anti-matter, which he can use offensively as bursts of energy or to form and control dimensional portals.

Marv Wolfman on Luthor's role in Infinite Crisis

In a Newsarama interview with Wolfman about writing Infinite Crisis Secret Files, Wolfman says,

"At first I hated seeing [Alexander] as a villain, but then when I realized here was a guy who had no life and, at less than a week old, had to grow up suddenly and, save the universe, then go into permanent exile. He was never given a chance to have a childhood. He went from newborn to adult in a few hours and he had people deciding everything for him. It was that breakthrough that made it possible in my mind to see how never having had a life could slowly alter his mind. It made psychological sense which lets me write him with real conviction."

In other media

In "Lexmas," an episode of the TV Series Smallville, Lex is near death and experiences a dream where he and Lana Lang are married with two children: Alexander Jr. and Lily.

See also

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